It’s not just voters who get tired of Congress – members of Congress get tired of Congress.
“I am bone tired,” David Obey said in announcing his retirement after 21 terms (that would be 42 years) as a Democratic congressman from Wisconsin.
Public opinion polls show that anti-incumbent sentiment is high going into the November congressional elections in which every House seat and one-third of the Senate are up for grabs. There’s also history to contend with – in the mid-term election during a new presidency the party of the president usually loses seats — that would be Democrats this year.
And some members of Congress have decided it’s just not worth the fight, even from relatively safe districts. Although, Obey says his decision had nothing to do with any concern about winning the election. By dropping out, Republican Sean Duffy suddenly became the front runner in that district, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist blogged.
“I believe the job of a good politician was to be used up fighting on behalf of causes you believed in, and when you are used up, to step aside and let someone else carry on the battle. Well, today I feel used up,” Obey said.